But they’re far from the first winged wonders to get aggy in the name of cinema. Brace yourselves (and ornithorphobians should definitely look away) as we run through the angriest movie birds of all time…
1. The Birds - The Birds (1963)
Hitchcock’s horror may be over 50 years old, but it’s still the definitive example of underwear-soiling terror-birds on-screen. Crows peck at children, seagulls set fire to gas stations, and the elderly are eviscerated by an array of supremely murderous flocks. While the violence is unsettling, it’s the permanently ominous threat of attack that truly gets under the skin. *brrrr*
2. Falcon - Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is without doubt one of the most chilled heroes in Marvel’s increasingly punchy Cinematic Universe. Ironically enough, it’s his endearing superhero bromance with Captain America that sends his blood pressure (and robotic wings) soaring, as he goes rogue from the Avengers to help Steve Rogers fight Tony Stark, half the Avengers, and the world’s leading international authorities - all to prove a principled, pertinent point.
3. The Penguin - Batman Returns (1992)
Of all the poultry on this list, Edward Cobblepot’s arguably the most reasoned in his anger issues. Thrown into Gotham River as a babe (after a teensy ‘incident’ in which he murdered his family cat), Cobblepot was born deformed and unwanted from the off. Luckily, he was found and raised by a flock of penguins (just go with it), setting him on a path with destiny (and Batman), as he enacts a plan to wreak bloody vengeance on the city that abandoned him, with the help of jetpack-wearing, ammunition-toting penguin soldiers.
4. Those Pigeons - Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
Sure, they were on the side of Kevin McAllister, but for how long? One argument with crazy Central Park pigeon lady and you’d be set upon in a fiery, flappy rage. Just ask Harry and Marv, the burglars who survive all manner of torture traps, but are undone by birdseed and the subsequent barrage of pecks and claws.
5. Iago - Aladdin (1992)
1992 really was a good year for vile movie birds, wasn’t it? There was none smarter, sassier or more snarlingly sarcastic than Jafar’s foul-mouthed parrot assistant Iago, who did all he could to derail Aladdin and Genie’s heroics. Of all Gilbert Gottfried’s illustrious, notably R-rated comedy roles, Iago is likely to be his standout legacy.
6. The Skeksis - The Dark Crystal (1982)
Forget Darth Vader, Hans Gruber and Hannibal Lecter - the Skeksis are serious contenders for cinema’s scariest bad guys (especially for anyone born in the late 70s/early 80s). Disturbingly realised by Jim Henson, his motley crew of puppeteers, and an array of amazing animatronics, the Skeksis were malevolent, cruel and genocidal giant vulture-like monsters who gleefully suck the life-force of the adorable Gelflings to retain their own power and youth. Creepy af.
7. The Crow - The Crow (1994)
When Eric Draven’s fiancée is beaten and raped, and then he himself is stabbed, shot, thrown out of a window, dies and is resurrected by a mystical crow, he’s understandably a little miffed. Cue a bloody, stabby and goth-tastic mission of vengeance to bring down the perpetrators who so cruelly ruined his life/afterlife.
8. Birdman - Birdman (2014)
2014’s Oscar-PWNing black comedy drama is a whirlwind of ideas, concepts and genres. But it’s the macabre, psychologically squiffy protagonist at its core that holds it all together. Riggan Thomson’s lifetime of consta-repression bubbles to the surface and then explodes in joyously mad style as he imagines (or does he?) his super heroic alter-ego Birdman. To be fair, both personalities are as gruff and sociopathic as the other - so either way, anger wins.
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